My Houzz: Creativity Flows in a New Hampshire CottageFarmhouse Living Room, New York
Photo: Rikki Snyder © 2014 Houzz
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1. Grand stone fireplace in a New Hampshire cottage. The fire roars and invites this cottage owner near. This dramatic fireplace is one of the main reasons the living room is artist Lauren Decatur’s favorite part of the home. On cold winter days, you’ll find her curled up on the couch among her throw pillows and blankets or over at her fireside desk. The desk offers her a warm spot with a view of the garden as she works on her felting projects. Around the fireplace, frames with Decatur’s artwork fill the wall. She uses the Italian Renaissance as inspiration, and is always looking for more 18th- and 19th-century frames to add to her collection. Read more about this cottage full of creative touches
Stoke the fire. I’ll admit it: Those of us who have fireplaces or wood stoves are lucky ducks. Getting a fire going is by far my favorite way to make my house snug and comfortable, and I appreciate it every time I do it. Keep your fire tools and supplies handy so it will be easy to start your blaze. While you’re at it, deck your mantel with some of your favorite things.
Even gas-burning chimneys need regular maintenance. “People say, ‘Well, I’m just burning gas, I’m not too concerned,’ ” Lovsteen says. “But you have to be careful with gas too, because you don’t want the transfer of heat and gases, like carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, inside the spaces between the walls or going into the house.” And even though wood is not burning in a gas fireplace, a residue of fine carbon soot still gets left inside the chimney. How much soot depends on several factors: the placement of the logs, whether the logs are cracked or in good shape, the gas-to-air ratio of the flammable mixture and the efficiency of the gas burner openings. Lovsteen describes the resulting soot as “lighter and fluffier” than creosote but still a potential danger. “It’s also messier,” he adds. Soot from a gas fireplace can clump together, creating balls that fall onto the hearth and fireplace surround. A gas fireplace can also put unwanted particulates in the air and increase the risk of trapped carbon monoxide inside the home.
3. Smoke alarms. This code requirement is a no-brainer. General smoke alarm requirements include one alarm in every sleeping area and one located in the path of the means of egress from a sleeping area to the door leading from that sleeping area. A smoke alarm is also typically required at each floor level, and in new construction, it must receive primary power from the building’s electrical wiring and must utilize a battery backup.
Mossy green in New Hampshire. Painter and felting artist Lauren Decatur‘s picturesque cottage in the woods, complete with stone fireplace and a pond on the property, is made all the more charming by her choice of soft, natural hues to complement the surroundings.Paint: Lush, Benjamin MooreSee the rest of this home
The grand stone fireplace and the abundance of natural light from the back garden are Decatur’s favorite features of her living room. The fireplace is surrounded with her artwork. These pieces and the style of decorating were inspired by the Italian Renaissance and repeated visits to the museums of Florence. Decatur is always on the lookout for 18th- and 19th-century frames to complete the look in this series of paintings. A built-in table with fireside seating has become the perfect spot for Decatur to work on her felting pieces while taking in the garden view.